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Proposing changes in how betas are released in future

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Recently there's been a huge issue with old beta releases, this being people have repacked/tampered/edited data. And it's causing major issues down the road and at times drama where people accuse the original uploaders of putting broken builds out.

Today I'd like to propose that future releases should include an MD5 or SHA1 hash of the release. (MD5 would likely be most simple due to simple drag and drop tools being freely available.) Clearly this would have to depend on data types.

@GerbilSoft suggested SHA256 but I wasn't aware of a tool for this until @Edness kindly pointed out ShareX has the function, so we'd use this tool if this ideas acceptable.

I would do something as follows,

For ISO's/Rom's we hash the ISO/Rom itself.
For HDD dumps we hash the final archive be it RAR/etc, we should stop using zip due to no redundancy/protection from corruption.
For PS3 PKG files we'd hash the PKG file.
For 360 Live/Pirs we'd use the hash for that and so on.

Would this be acceptable? I'd create some sort of database for this so we can monitor it and allow trusted users/preservation groups to add new hashes/info.

Following on from this I'd like to propose that future releases are packed with RAR using 10% recovery/locked archives, I've got a pile of ZIP/7Z files here that are corrupted with no means to repair/recover, the original uploaders are gone so that's stuff lost. Least by using RAR we'd have future chances on saving stuff, the downfall to this being extra storage being needed.

How would people feel about this? Something needs to be done and I feel a hash would make it easy to identify a tampered/messed with release.

Please post your views on this/opinion's below, thank you :)
 
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kabojnk

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Not a bad idea. I actually prefer HashTab in Win10. Super simple to use - install then it adds a Hashes tab to your file properties dialog. Seeing hashes for any file is simple as right click file/archive > Properties > click File Hashes tab. Very nice app.

Can right click on any hash you want and copy to clipboard. It is free for personal use.
 

Tokimemofan

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Recently there's been a huge issue with old beta releases, this being people have repacked/tampered/edited data. And it's causing major issues down the road and at times drama where people accuse the original uploaders of putting broken builds out.

Today I'd like to propose that future releases should include an MD5 or SHA1 hash of the release. (MD5 would likely be most simple due to simple drag and drop tools being freely available.) Clearly this would have to depend on data types.

@GerbilSoft suggested SHA256 but I wasn't aware of a tool for this until @Edness kindly pointed out ShareX has the function, so we'd use this tool if this ideas acceptable.

I would do something as follows,

For ISO's/Rom's we hash the ISO/Rom itself.
For HDD dumps we hash the final archive be it RAR/etc, we should stop using zip due to no redundancy/protection from corruption.
For PS3 PKG files we'd hash the PKG file.
For 360 Live/Pirs we'd use the hash for that and so on.

Would this be acceptable? I'd create some sort of database for this so we can monitor it and allow trusted users/preservation groups to add new hashes/info.

Following on from this I'd like to propose that future releases are packed with RAR using 10% recovery/locked archives, I've got a pile of ZIP/7Z files here that are corrupted with no means to repair/recover, the original uploaders are gone so that's stuff lost. Least by using RAR we'd have future chances on saving stuff, the downfall to this being extra storage being needed.

How would people feel about this? Something needs to be done and I feel a hash would make it easy to identify a tampered/messed with release.

Please post your views on this/opinion's below, thank you :)
I would rather see Hash per file+directory tree for hdd dumps, some of them can have fairly large numbers of files. Also mandatory disclosure of modifications if any were made to render it bootable, such as addition of a System.cnf files or drm circumvention. And on the topic of rar archives a recommendation against using the solid archive option. For those unaware solid archives aren’t as recoverable when they become corrupt, a fairly small corruption near the beginning of an archive can prevent extraction of rest of the archive, and recovery record can’t recover large contiguous errors
 

Awbacon

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Great idea, but every layer of abstraction between a releaser of a beta and the file itself might mean people become disinterested?

If that's the goal, I think all the necessary directions and tools need to be stickied and readily available for anyone who needs them. The minute it becomes a long google search is the minute I feel like some people may just say "eh screw it'

I 110% get where you are coming from, but some methods of dumping become burdensome. The redump guys are great but I dump like one disc every two weeks when I have spare time since it's a lot of photo taking, documentation, etc etc. Not opposed to it but it certainly slows me down on my dumps

Just my two cents :)
 

Cut Into Fourteen Pieces

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I like the idea of hashing. Everything I've dumped from disc is on Redump, so you can already find the MD5 and SHA1 hashes there. I usually include the Redump data in the archive as well. Same for most of the CVLT members. It would be easy enough to get hashes of the small amount of files that were not from disc.

I don't like RAR myself. It has some good features, but it's not open source, not an open spec. There are some questionable features of the archives. It includes essentially a virtual machine that executes arbitrary instructions from RAR files. I always unpack RAR files on a separate system in case they've got malicious content. I also don't like that using it would mean everyone packing the files would need to buy a license.
 

esprade

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Well, I certainly agree there needs to be something, a semi-private/public database of all the itterations would be an informative resource, at least for my own personal curiosity. But, at least from my experience over the past ten years, it may well be that being careful moving forward is just as important as being incredibly detailed and being precise, if that makes any kind of sense. Some things that are only slightly modified are literally watermarked, and that's not something I can agree 100% should be public information.

If this applied to stuff already in the public domain, or once it hits the public domain, or doesn't pertain to the PS3/360 era, then I can agree. As for your proposal on how to preserve digital information, whatever is the most efficient and safe method for preservation online, I'm all for it. I just think rules for releases are decided by the person who releases the item, and unfortunately there's nothing to stop that.
 
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